Arbitration panel bows to football fan pressure

Sir Phillip Otton, chairman of the arbitration panel hearing Leeds United FC’s case against the Football League, has confirmed that he will deliver an initial decision by 1 May.

This week (15th April), revealed how Wilberforce Chambers launched Leeds United’s fight to have 15 points deducted from the team by the Football League reinstated. Blackstone Chambers is acting for the Football League.

There were fears that the outcome of the case would not be released until late May, which would have had implications for where the club begins in the league next season.

The club dropped out of Championship to League One after it was docked points for failing to follow the competition’s insolvency rules when it came out of administration.

David Philips QC of Wilberforce chambers confirmed that a decision would be made by 1 May, with details to follow.

Originally a decision was not expected until late May after the playoffs in which Leeds will play against Gillingham on 3 May. Leeds fans were angered that the decision would not be announced until after the playoffs and posted their comments on (see story).

The three-strong arbitration panel has three options to choose from when making its ruling: it can enforce the Football League’s ruling, reinstate the points in full or partially reinstate the points.